Do'in D.C. 5/12/2008
As a birthday gift my friend took me on a short jaunt, south of our hometown, to our Nation's Capital, Washington, D.C. He's a big fan of the Capital City and thought that it would be a great getaway. He was so right!
As an alternative to a big, chain, corporate hotel, he chose an eight room Bed & Breakfast, Akwaaba. Located in Dupont Circle, with easy access to shopping, nightlife, museums, and more, Akwaaba was a perfect choice. We were greeted at the front door (by name) and welcomed into our “home” for the weekend, by Inn Keeper Kema (pictured on the left). Reservations were made on-line and check-in simply consisted of walking in, getting your key, and being shown to your room.
Upon entering the home, however, you’ll be in no rush to head to your room, as you are taken in by the sheer charm of the place. The B&B is located in an historic Victorian townhome. Once inside, you are transported by the antique décor to another era. The original woodwork, detailed fireplaces, and crown molding on the first level are an intricate feast for the eyes. After a short tour of the first floor and a briefing on breakfast arrangements for the following morning, we were shown to our room.
Each guest room is themed according to a literary genre or famous African American author. From the Zora Neale Hurston guestroom, beautifully decorated with warm red hues, reminiscent of the Harlem Renaissance she is famous for being part of, to the Writer’s Suite located on the lower level complete with private kitchen and entrance, Akwaaba is a preferable alternative for travelers in search of a cozy, comfortable, laid back, local experience.
Once we took in the charm of our room “Modern Classic” (pictured to the right) we were off and running. Our first stop was “U” Street, where we enjoyed an early dining experience at Tabaq, a Tapas Bar and Grill. We were seated on the rooftop level (shown on the right) where we could take in views of the city for miles around. The mussels were good, the mojitos great (I liked the classic), and Preston (our waiter) was the best!
From U Street, we bar hopped up and down the trendy and busy Adams Morgan area, where a partial blackout on the block was not enough to quiet the place down. If it were not for the fact that I had to finish my drink before exiting an establishment, I would have sworn that I was bar hopping on Bourbon Street in New Orleans! Hip Hop, Techno and anything in between could be found in Adams Morgan, whatever your pleasure! We finally settled in “Bossa Bistro & Grill” a cozy bar restaurant named after the Brazilian music genre Bossa Nova, a kind of sultry island jazz. I’m not sure which made me want to sway my hips more, the mojitos or the live music! No matter, it was beautiful ending to a great day in D.C.
Unfortunately, my overdosing on mojitos from the night before caused us to miss breakfast the next morning. On weekends breakfast is served at 9 a.m. in the dining room. I was told that it was a delicious quiche, country ham, and biscuits and gravy. All freshly made from scratch by Miss Kema herself. We strolled down in time to chat up a few other couples who were taking up residence and to make our plan for the day.
A free wireless internet service is available for all guests, and there are no worries if you did not pack your laptop. There is a computer located in the main dining area for use! We used it to get a few addresses and direction...and like that, we were on our way!
Since we both have a serious penchant for HGTV and everything design related, we first hit a few furniture stores in the area before going after more cultural pursuits.
Reincarnations Furnishings, Inc. on 14th street in N.W. was a great spot for copies of classic, modern, and trendy furnishings and accessories. Great prices and great finds! Urban Essentials on U Street (a couple doors down from Tabaq) had unique finds. After a quick trip over to Theodore’s on Wisconsin Ave. we took in the Cheesecake Factory and Sak’s men’s store before heading back across town to the Phillips Collection in N.W.
Currently at the Phillips Collection is Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series. The 60 panel exhibit is spreadout over two rooms, with each panel labeled by the narrative created by Mr. Lawrence when originally did the series. You may follow along using your cellphone or sit for a short film where Jacob Lawrence explains how the series came about, his color and other methods used to create symmetry in the work.
All in all it was a great weekend. Washington, D.C. has so much to offer there was no way to cover it all in two days. Whatever your taste, I'm sure you'll find a bit of the flavor you like in D.C.!
For more information on the Akwaaba visit their official website at www.akwaaba.com. Book early!